Tuesday, 4 March 2014


I have a big, ambitious goal for this year.
I want to make a quilt for everyone in my immediate family. That's two brothers, two sisters and my mum.
I'm not behind yet!
My youngest brother, D, is 4, and his birthday is in April.
My older brother, AJ, is 21, and his birthday is in May.
My younger sister, A, is 18, and her birthday is in June.
My mum's birthday is in December.
My youngest sister, J, is 15 and her birthday is in January.

I guess it's not really a super-ambitious goal for anyone with a reasonable number of quilts under their belt, but for a beginner quilter it may just be out of reach. I'm hoping that I haven't bitten off more than I can chew!

I've got ideas for each person's quilt, thank goodness! I'd feel a bit lost if I didn't, I think.

D's quilt is Zigs, so that's okay. Just need to piece the back and get a walking foot to quilt it up all nice and he's done.

AJ's a bit older, and likes things to be neat, with clean lines. I don't think he would appreciate a quilt that looked too busy, or one where the design is hard to make out (shame, I do love coordinated-scrappy quilts!). So, for him I'm choosing to go with solids, and simple shapes.
Oh and his favourite colour is orange. I'd actually put this idea together before asking him about colours to go with it, and when I did ask him he said "black and white". So I'm on the right track, I think I have his style nailed down!
I've decided to call this quilt Rada, because it just feels right.
There's nothing really difficult or 'special' to it, just a square-in-a-square that's then sliced up with a rotary cutter and 1" strips re-inserted. The difficult part will be that I want to do this in a QAYG style, so that will be a challenge for me. I think I'll like being able to make the lines of quilting go different ways. Perhaps even echo the direction of the lines?
I actually still need to order the fabric for this.

A's quilt is next. For her I'm going to be adapting Charlotte Newland's Fracture quilt. It's originally about a square metre, for a lovely wall-hanging size, but I'm going to be sizing it up to about a queen. After talking a bit with Charlotte (who is extremely helpful and lovely!), she suggested adding in another border of larger squares before sizing the whole thing up. I think that was perfect advice - it allows the centre to stay all shatter-y and small when I size it up.
Because it's paper-pieced, I've been having real difficulty estimating fabric requirements. I finally resorted to tessellating all the pieces onto a scale-drawing of a yard of fabric, and then adding a quarter-yard just to be sure. I think that's the most accurate way to go, although it did take a long time!
At least choosing the colour was easy. She loves pink, and the design of this quilt brings to mind a little something else that I'll keep a secret until I do it just in case I cave and show my family my blog. I just wish it were less expensive. Ah well.

Mum is the one that I'm really not sure about. I want to make her something with triangles, because that's her favourite shape (I find it really cute that she has a favourite shape), but I also want to use hexagons, because I think she'll like them (she's a huge fan of English paper-piecing). On top of that I want to add another little bit of interest into the mix, but I'm just not sure what. The colour scheme is another easy one; red, black and white (although I'll throw in some grey to make it easier for me).
I'm seriously considering a quilt like this one. Every time I look at it I really really want to make it.
   For this quilt I'll definitely use prints, so if I did the hexagon-in-a-hexagon pattern, I'd do it all in black-and-white prints, matching nicely, contrasting nicely, that sort of thing. Then in each inner hexagon, I'd take out one of the triangles of other colour and put in a triangle of solid red. I think I'd really like that.
   The other option that my heart so dearly wishes I'd pick, is to do a quilt out of QAYG hexagons, like in my last post. Doing it that way would make a double-sided quilt with no binding, backing or quilting to worry about at the end. I'd make them much bigger of course, but that's still a huge amount of hand-stitching. Incidentally, I really enjoyed hand-stitching the hexagons, and even put binding on a little FMQ practise piece (which is awful) just so I could hand-stitch it in place. So it's not the irritation of hand-stitching everything together, it's simply the time it takes. I have a lot of time before December, though, so it's very very tempting.
   The other-other option that niggles at me is doing a quilt entirely out of triangles. Lots and lots of different sized triangles, tessellated together any which-way they fit. That would be a fun, interesting and challenging project to undertake! It highlights one of the things that bothers me about the hexagon-in-a-hexagon idea: it's too easy. It doesn't feel right to do something easy, not when it's this special. But we shall see.

J's another easy one. She likes purple and she likes cats. So! Elizabeth Hartman's Catvent Quiltalong it is! I'll be doing it in purples with a light/med grey background. I haven't decided the size to make the blocks just yet, but I rather like the idea of having them the same size as the original Catvent quilt. Tiny cats would make for an interesting quilt! However, scaling them up would be much easier.
I'm planning on asking my Bee-mates to make me these blocks, to help with the scrappy feel I want! However, because it's a beginner Bee, asking for lots of the same shade isn't really fair, so I'd be perfectly happy with some just done in one purple.
I'm planning to have one of the cats be done in blacks to represent the cat J has in real life. I'm going to put it where the quilt's heart would be, to signify how much she loves him. I think she'll really appreciate the gesture.

So! Those are my ambitious goals for this year!
I also have in mind two quilts for us - a blue Fracture quilt like A's (my partner said it looked awesome! That's a definite vote!), and a mail themed quilt in a colour-scheme that has yet to be determined, although I think it will have pink in it.
I'm so excited about designing the mail-themed quilt, but because it's our house, it feels like it has to be perfect. If it came to pass that I couldn't get the right colour fabric for, say, AJ's quilt, then I could easily settle for a very similar shade - he won't know the difference, and as like as not it'd turn out basically the same anyway. But in a quilt for me... I feel like it would have to be perfect, otherwise that wrong colour would niggle at me every time I saw it. Hmm. Hopefully I can somehow train myself to not worry so much about it.

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